Lower South

January, 2006
Regional Report

Move Plants

If you have any young trees, shrubs, or other woody ornamental plants that need to be moved around, now is an excellent time to transplant them. Moving plants while they are dormant reduces the stress and gives them a chance to settle in before the growing season begins.

Take Time for Some Armchair Flower Gardening

Make flower and vegetable garden plans now before the rush of spring planting. Time spent in armchair gardening will pay off in improved performance in next season's gardens. Do some research about which varieties are recommended and proven in your area and the best time to plant each species.

Get a Head Start On Spring Flowers

Sow seeds in flats or containers to get a jump on plant growth before hot weather arrives. Petunias, begonias, and impatiens should be sown in early January. Warm-temperature plants, such as tomatoes, peppers, marigolds, and periwinkles, should be sown in late January or early February.

Give Blooming Beds a Boost

Apply a light application of fertilizer to established pansy plantings. Use 1/2 pound of ammonium sulfate or another high-nitrogen fertilizer per 100 square feet of bed area. Repeat the application every four to six weeks, depending on rainfall. Dried blood meal is also an excellent source of fertilizer for pansies.

Choose Smaller Bare-Root Plants

When buying plants, the biggest is not always the best, especially when dealing with bare-root plants. The medium to small sizes (4 to 6 feet) are usually faster to become established and more effective in the landscape than the large sizes.

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